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From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition:

A3:   see A3 Report
A3 Report:   A Toyota-pioneered practice of getting the problem, the analysis, the corrective actions, and the action plan down on a single sheet of large (A3) paper, often with the use of graphics. At Toyota, A3 reports have evolved into a standard method for summarizing problem-solving exercises, status reports, and planning exercises like value-stream mapping. A3 paper is the international term for paper 297 millimeters wide and 420 millimeters long. The closest U.  S. paper size is the 11-by-17 inch tabloid sheet. More »
A3s (17) Show All »
A3 Templates from Lean Enterprise Institute
By: Shook, John | January 16, 2010
A3s; Forms and Templates
Templates courtesy of the Lean Enterprise Institute: Dowload the A3 Templates:  A3 Template (PowerPoint File) A3 Template (Word File) More »
A3 Strategy Form (from Getting the Right Things Done)
By: Dennis, Pascal | December 11, 2006
A3s; Forms and Templates
A strategy A3 is a one-page storyboard on 11-inch by 17-inch paper that helps us tell our strategy "story.  " Logic flows from top left to bottom right, and each box leads to the next one. Some people might look at a strategy A3 and find it too complicated or busy. This is a normal reaction; we're condensing a lot on to one page. But you'll find that good A3 stories have an intuitive flow and can be told in five to 10 minutes.   Getting the Right Things Done, from which this example is taken, Pascal Dennis outlines the More »
Articles (63) Show All »
A3: Tool or Process? Both....
By: Richardson, Tracey | October 14, 2011
Coach Tracey Richardson explains why an A3 is both a useful tool that captures and shares the results of an investigation--and is also a thinking process that cannot be ignored.    More »
What Are the Different Types of A3s?
By: Richardson, Tracey | August 8, 2011
What are the different types of A3s and what are they used for? More »
Audio (1)
Forward to Fundamentals Webinar with Jim Womack and John Shook
By: Shook, John; Jim Womack | April 23, 2009
Audio; Videos and Webinars
In recent years, most discussions around lean transformation have understandably evolved toward more managerial and strategic matters. Yet there remains an alarming lack of solid implementation of the fundamentals! In this current economic crisis we can actually move our lean journeys forward faster by looking back to the lessons that led to the creation of TPS in the weakened Japanese economy following World War II. This webinar is designed to uncover the deep roots of the original lean thinking and tools and how you can better focus your own lean implementation plans and execution. This webinar features Jim Womack, Chairman More »
Books (14) Show All »
Managing to Learn: Using the A3 management process
By: John Shook | October 6, 2008
A3s; Books
Managing to Learn by Toyota veteran John Shook, reveals the thinking underlying the vital A3 management process at the heart of lean management and lean leadership. Constructed as a dialogue between a manager and his boss, the book explains how “A3 thinking” helps managers and executives identify, frame, and then act on problems and challenges. Shook calls this approach, which is captured in the simple structure of an A3 report, “the key to Toyota’s entire system of developing talent and continually deepening its knowledge and capabilities.  ” More »
Lean Lexicon 5th Edition
By: Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc. | January 21, 2014
The fifth edition of the Lexicon, first published in January 2003, is 140 pages, containing 60+ illustrations and 207 key terms from A3 Report to Yokoten. The Lexicon already covers such key lean enterprise terms as jidoka, kanban, kaizen, lean consumption, lean production, lean enterprise, pull production, standardized work, takt time, Toyota Production System, and value-stream mapping. It also has a simple, one-page guide to pronouncing Japanese terms. More »
Case Studies (7) Show All »
Transforming Healthcare: What Matters Most? How the Cleveland Clinic Is Cultivating a Problem-Solving Mindset and Building a Culture of Improvement
By: David Drickhamer | May 28, 2015
Imagine if you could create a culture of excellence and improvement in a large healthcare organization. That’s the challenge that pushed the Cleveland Clinic to reinvent its continuous improvement program and push for a true cultural transformation.   More »
Lean management case study series: Pediatric Hospital in Tough Market Pegs Growth to Lean Process Improvement
By: Vinas, Tonya | June 2, 2011
Lean improvement projects at Akron Children’s Hospital have saved millions of dollars, increased utilization of expensive assets, and reduced wait times for patients and their families. While these gains are important, the learning and commitment that each project builds internally are crucial elements of the hospital’s drive to make continuous improvement not just a program but the overarching strategic imperative for the entire organization.   Read an interview with hospital board member Bill Hopkins from LEI's lean leadership series. See all the executive interviews in the series. More »
Columns (93) Show All »
A3 Thinking Roundup
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | August 9, 2016
Following last week's immensely popular Posts on the origins of A3 thinking, LEI Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld compiles a collection of the very best reads on A3 thinking, from the Lean Post and beyond. More »
Test Your PDCA Thinking By Reading Your A3 Backwards
By: Tracey Richardson | July 11, 2014
Pretty sure you've got a good A3, but want to test the logic of your thinking? Want some help coaching another person through their A3 thinking? Tracey Richardon shares her wisdom. More »
eLetters (62) Show All »
The A3 Process -- Discovery at Toyota and What it Can Do for You
By: Shook, John | October 30, 2008
Columns; eLetters
The challenge isn’t in teaching how to write an A3 but in how to use the A3 as a managerial process. If the A3 was presented as a narrow tool, the deeper and broader aspects of the overall process would be lost. I really didn’t want to just introduce yet another narrow tool. It has long been my view that using tools for tool’s sake (where everything is a hammer looking for a nail) is one of the very biggest problems in “LeanWorld.  ” More »
How Do We Sustain A3 Thinking in our Organization?
By: Balle, Michael | December 12, 2011
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach My firm has been investing a lot of time and energy this year in teaching A3 thinking to our staff.  The workshops have been going great, but how do we keep this work going when people return to their daily work? How can we “pull” A3 thinking through the organization after the formal training is over? More »
Events (6) Show All »
2013 Transformation Summit
November 15, 2012
March 13-14, 2013 - Orlando, Florida. Focus and accelerate your lean efforts by using your tranformation model to guide capability development. More »
2010 Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit
March 26, 2010
June 9-10, 2010 - Orlando, FL. Specially designed to delvier comprehensive, high-quality information about improving healthcare quality through lean thinking. More »
Forms and Templates (1)
Team Board Form (from Getting the Right Things Done)
By: Dennis, Pascal | December 11, 2006
A team board is a window on both routine and improvement work. The board on the following page addresses both daily production and strategic issues, and is organized according to SQDCM—safety, quality, delivery, cost, and morale. Team objectives and action plans are developed at the beginning of each annual planning cycle. Abnormalities and countermeasures are recorded and tracked manually. Recurrent abnormalities should trigger problem-solving and/or kaizen activity, which should be recorded (e.  g.  , a three-ring binder attached to the board). Teams should review production results daily and strategic results weekly. Corresponding "drills" need to be developed, piloted, and standardized. More »
Presentations (1)
From Modern Management to Lean Management
By: Womack, Jim | November 21, 2008
a 2008 presentation by Jim Womack at the Lean Enterprise Academy Summit More »
Videos and Webinars (2)
2009 IW Best Plants Conference Keynote
By: Shook, John | June 3, 2009
John Shook, LEI author and senior advisor, delivers the keynote at the 2009 IndustryWeek Best Plants conference in Nashville, TN. In the video, Shook explains the play on words of his presentation's title "Managing to Learn," which also is the name of his book about a management style based on the scientific method behind the A3 report. The key point is to build business systems so that managing is a learning process for everyone in the organization. More »
Follow-up Q&A to the Webinar: On the Mend - Changing a healthcare organizational culture to continuous improvement
By: Toussaint, John; Gerard, Roger | November 3, 2010
The lean healthcare webinar “On the Mend: Changing a healthcare organizational culture to continuous improvement” drew an engaged audience that submitted hundreds of questions, many more than we could address during the hour-long session. We selected questions that represented the major topics you wanted to know more about for a follow-up Q &A with our presenters. Here are your questions and their replies. John Toussaint, CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, former president and chief executive officer of ThedaCare: Q. How did senior leaders come to the conclusion that adopting lean was the most effective strategy for operations More »
Workshops (16) Show All »
Lessons in A3 Thinking: What Porter Learned in Managing to Learn
Understand the work, thinking, and leadership behind the A3 process -- not only what goes into the storyboard boxes. More »
Managing to Learn: The Use of the A3 Management Process
This workshop introduces the A3 management process and the way of thinking represented in the A3 format that capture the heart of lean management. Participants will be provided an overview of various forms and uses of the A3 format and will have an opportunity to create their own A3. Working in small groups, they will be able to read, discuss, and evaluate each another’s A3s. More »